The LGBT community is a fast-growing consumer segment, meaning members are increasingly influencing market trends by virtue of their swelling buying power. In Asia alone, the so-called “pink money” is estimated to run to hundreds of billions in U.S. currency, suggesting this is an exploding sub-segment of the economy that could prove lucrative to the property sector.
In a news story, Property Report said LGBT property hunters are on the rise and they scour for new homes to acquire backed by “massive disposable incomes and wealth.” Many of these buyers come from the U.S., Europe and China but it is the latter that command due attention.
That’s because Chinese home buyers have the cash to binge-shop and per the same report the LGBT segment has a war chest of $938 billion to finance a property buying spree. But more noteworthy is such mind-boggling purchasing power is buoyed by household savings of around $1.5 trillion.
The figures, according to Property Report, stand as of the end of 2018, likewise indicating that potentially the Chinese pink money will soon find its way to preferred destinations by LGBT members. And it looks like that the majority of these hot property spots can be found in Southeast Asia.
Why the region? The report offered an explanation: “Southeast Asia is becoming more tolerant, if not welcoming … Increasingly inclusive attitudes, combined with a cavalcade of residential properties at low initial purchase prices, position several cities in the region as sanctuaries for LGBT property seekers.”
Additionally, LGBT property buyers from China are on the hunt for “gay-friendlier” property locations in the region to “escape from less accepting locales.” It appears too that the community has a shortlist and the following cities have been labelled as “havens for home buyers from all ends of the spectrum.”
Ho Chi Minh (Vietnam)
The Vietnamese capital is inching closer to a legal environment that embraces the LGBT lifestyle. Recently, the government has enacted a law that effectively decriminalised same-sex marriage. Though the measure stopped short of supporting gay unions (for now), it is believed Ho Chi Minh is dead-set on a track to become a sanctuary for same-sex couples.
More importantly, property investment in the country is promising as yields are estimated to reach up to eight percent with starting property price of $150,000. Of note as well are the underway infrastructure developments that the national government has been undertaking, providing solid hints to investors that land value in the country is heading north.
Phnom Penh (Cambodia)
Cambodian authorities have been issuing statements and policies that LGBT activists consider as progressive enough, or at least in parallel with the initial legal rights extended to the community in Western countries. The country is getting to the “point of acceptance and tolerance,” of the LGBT way and members of the community are taking notice.
Also, the LGBT crowd is very much aware that property development in Cambodia is in full swing for some time now. In Phnom Penh alone, thousands of luxury apartment units are up for grabs and the numbers are expected to jump by the end of the year, likely reaching nearly 23,000 premium units. That means buyers will have a wide-range of investment options to cherry-pick from in the country.
By and large, the cosmopolitan city of Manila is respectful of basic human rights and the favourable view extends to LGBT couples. In political and social aspects, gay rights enjoy acceptance and protection in the country, and it is highly likely that legal security will follow suit soon.
In terms of investment opportunity, the Philippine capital is a rock-solid haven. The property sector is on the growth trajectory and buying up is just the perfect time – home prices are fairly affordable. Apartments can be had for as low as $62,000 and these units are located on prime property zones, indicating that the value will appreciate in no time.
Phuket and Bangkok (Thailand)
Thailand remains the top choice for foreign home buyers wanting to take a bite of the unique Asian flavour and it’s easy to understand why. If buyers’ predilection veers on the sophisticated city life, the automatic pick is Bangkok, which is considered as among the most modern in the world but affordable. For those looking for an island paradise lifestyle, the way to go is Phuket.
Either way, the two property locations promise of a blissful existence no matter one’s sexual orientation. And the bonus part is an always-open door for investment that most often leads to realised gains. To paint a clear picture of how good it is to invest in Thailand, one can score a premium property in Thailand that is six times cheaper when compared to a counterpart in Hong Kong. And to seal the deal, the country has the political and social settings that fully encourage investment of all colours and leanings.